Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Cruel Mistres

With bended knees I daily worship her,
Yet she consumes her own idolater.
Of such a goddess no times leave record,
That burnt the temple where she was adored
A Cruel Mistress, Thomas Carew
The toolset is a cruel mistress. Looking back, there some things that really bugged me about the toolset building the last chapter. The core being that things in the toolset were not that same as in the game. Namely custom content - 2da files in the campaign folder seemed to work fine in the toolset, but wouldn't display in game. Grr.

And a bug that I hoped was an isolated incident in testing, but now appears to be more common - crashing on loading an area. I canoot replicate this at all on my machine. Area loads fine for me in game and toolset, not laggy. Small area too, so not a problem there. But some people are getting crashes on loading it - fairly consistently, but occasionally it will load for them correctly. Any ideas.

It's these little illogicalities that drive you insane. Yet still we come back for more - check out Ernies post and the replies about it.

Thanks Kaida for the first vote and your support for Zabados - there's lot more to come form him in chapter 3 don't worry!! Put together a quick patch for Chapter 2 - a stupid bug I should have caught, thanks to Argoyne for spotting. Also started sketching a storyboard for Chapter 3....


Jazhara7 said...

I remember back while testing "Dark Waters 2" for Mr. Miller. There was a problem with small areas causing crashes too. Apparently the problem was the fact that they were small. Namely 1*2 areas, though I'm sure it might influence 2*2 areas too.

I looked up the specific news item for you:

It's the entry for the tenth 3/10/2008.

The solution is simply making those areas at least 2*2 in size, as I recall, even if you don't use the whole of it. :)

- :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Wyrin said...

Hey Jazhara! Thanks for finding that! I can;t remember how bit the area is, but it's definitely a thin strip so 1x2 could be right... I'll check. If you've solved the problem for me, that's great! I'll have to reward yuo by putting a Jazhara Easter egg in that area somewhere... ;)

Amraphael said...

Hi Wyrin, which area are bugged? I'll try to test it for you this evening to see if I can find something strange.
Do you have a list of other "unsolvable" problems, that you want help with? I'm far from an expert, but hey, even a blind crow finds a worm now and then...

Wyrin said...

Hey Amraphael.

The area is a2_shore. I'm going to check it out later with jazhara's suggestion, and mayeb increase the size. But if you're willing to look, that would be great! I can't remember any of the waypoints in that area to help with jumping there directly in game at the moment.

I'll keep you in mind if any other problems come up - thanks!!!

Ernie Noa said...

The toolset is like a drug. I'm addicted. I can't stop. I need more and more to make me happy. (laugh)

Amraphael said...

strange indeed. I can confirm that the game crashes in a2_shore, but stranger is that it also crashes the toolset when I try to open the area. I exported it to an ERF and started to pick apart the files associated with a2_shore. It seems that something is wrong with one or more objects placed in the area because when replacing the *.GIT file with a faked file everything works fine from both the toolset and the game itself. (Except that the area is pretty empty).

There's ten different sets of objects in your area so I'll see if I get some time over after watching BSG tonight to pinpoint it for you. Can you open the area without problems?

Amraphael said...

Wow, sometimes I'm fast. It's the trees in this area. You have about 100 of them and it may be just one that is corrupting the area OR it may be the amount. If you can open the area try remove them all and have one beta tester that you know has this problem test it for you.

Sorry that I can't be more specific on which tree it is :)

Amraphael said...

Just one thought... Try remove 10% of the trees to start with. I noticed there's more than 4 different tree types and several seeds. It may be as simple as the engine tripping over of so many trees at a small area.

Wyrin said...

I have NEVER had a crash with that area. That's what buggs me! Plus I know some of the playtesters could open it wihhout problems.

I've uploaded a new version with fewer trees - there are 6 different types by less than 6 seeds. Hope that makes it better!

E.C.Patterson said...

I hope that does the trick for you Wyrin. It would be great.

Amraphael: How did you narrow it down to trees? Did you delete sets of objects until the area successfully loaded, or did you use some more sophisticated technique? Thanks!

Jazhara7 said...

Oh well, I guess that means no Jaz Easter Egg in that area. :P

Wyrin, I noticed you messed up East and West in the map pins. For example, in the first area it says "Follow path East to Village" (or something like that). However, the path goes West. If you're looking North (which is at the top), East is on the Right, and West is at the left.

Also, there seems to be some trouble with the shouts of the Skum and the Milita men. The Skum shout about a "Human" having come, but my character is a Wild Elf. In fact, there's not a single human in my party so far. Also, they, as well as the militia men, seem to think me male shouting about "Him" and "He has come", even though my character is female.

Also, is the Sea Witch in the Underground Harbour supposed to only drop a few gold coins and a Leather Skin? When I killed her she had transformed into a Badger, so if she's supposed to drop something else, this might be the cause of that.

Also, asking Contessa about her opinion of my other companions, the option to ask her about Zabados and Taron showed up, even though I hadn't met them yet (at least in DA 2. I met Taron in Raby Mere after talking to Midas of course, but he's not a companion of mine yet.)

- :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Amraphael said...

I don't mean to HiJack this comment-thread but it's kind of related.

I don't know if it helped other players but at my two PCs it plays nice now. What I did was to save the mod in directory mode, then open the areas different files in a GFF/HEX Editor comparing them with other areas. After some testing I guessed it could be the *.GIT that contains info about all the placed objects in the area. Then I systematically (and boring) tested to disable each group of items. Placeables, Waypoints, Encouters etc until it worked. It was the trees. Then I disabled only half of the placed trees and everything worked. I suppose I should have been more thorough and cut the half in half and so on until only one tree was left. But it would only have worked if there was a corruption of the node. But Wyrin and other players has no problems with the area so today I should say it's unlikely.

I think Wyrin has a new version up so I'll download it to see how it works when playing and original package from scratch. It's a great mod as far as I've played it.

Wyrin said...

Thanks Jaz - you've beena great help (in giving me more work to do!) I'm goign to put anew version up over the weekend with these changes in (and maybe still an Jaz easter egg somewhere... ;)) I'm 90% sure I git the race/gender checks right, but I have sene it before where the machine can interpret these wrong. I'll look into it.

@ Amraphael - that was pretty thorough! Thank you - really appreciate you effort. I've deleted some trees in the current version but as I can't make my toolset crash (wierd huh?!) It's hard to test. I'll double check the seeds for the next release.

Jazhara7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jazhara7 said...

I'm happy to help. ^_^ (even if you don't end putting any Jaz Easter eggs in. ;) ).

There's some other possible problems. Should the conversations with the companions only appear every time after Black Death ferried one of them between the party and the hideout, or also when you simply rest? Because they only ever appeared when I had Black Death ferry one of them (or even if I didn't change anything about the party, but hit "Accept Party" in the roster anyway. But never when I simply rested.

Also, is the module supposed to be using the "Mask of the Betrayer" resting system? You know, the one where it asks you if you want to rest or just wait until dusk/dawn.
If the dialogues are supposed to fire on simple resting too, I think that problem might be in relation to this mechanism.

Also, said conversations seem to be a bit faulty. For example, if I have Briars in my party, his dialogue "Flandal spoke to me in my dreams!" will come up without any exception. I think you might have forgotten to have a script place a tag or whatever it's called after it fired once in this case. It might pay to check for this in the other dialogues too, as like I mentioned the conversation between Gork and Seich seems to come up very often too (though it wasn't every time in this case, luckily.).
Also, I know there should be one conversation with Zabados firing at one point in this situation, but I never got that. :(

When resting in the areas of Raven's Lake, I've found I get a shift to evil even before confirming I want to rest here (so, just by hitting giving the command to rest, which brings up the "Rest or Wait?" screen known from MotB. At that point, I've found, the dialogue at the bottom already displays the "Shifted towards evil...Horrible Nightmares" message and actual shift. But at that point I can still make the choice between Resting and simply waiting. Even hitting cancel is possible. This might be a problem with the system that this mechanism uses, as it basically breaks off the initial rest attempt for bringing up that menu, and only after that you really rest if you choose that option. So I am not really sure if you can do much about this problem.)

Also, the nauseous milita people...confuse me. Are you sure that's the word you wanted to use? As in "Causing nausea; sickening or disgusting.". I mean, people can be sickening and disgusting both in character and...body care(then again, those milita men even had a Sauna!), but I don't really think "nauseous" is really supposed to be used for describing people. A task can be nauseous, or even a thing. Maybe a situation. It just feels weird seeing it used in relation to a person.

Also, some of the first "Nauseous Elf" milita men I encountered when entering the Milita base (you know, where you meet the Orc lady) looked suspiciously like dwarves to me...

And one last thing, which is not a bug, but likely my own stupidity...where the *heck* am I supposed to find Taron? I looked around, and I seem to be unable to find him. He should he be somewhere in Thornton Hough? I got the impression I should have met him by now...maybe I missed an area, but I remember him throwing in comments in conversations much earlier when I was looking at the toolset...It's just getting me nervous I might have missed something. :(

Oh, and you might be glad to hear I won't be able to bombard you with bug and error reports for most of the next two days, as I will be at a woodturning workshop during the day. Rejoice! *laughs* :P ;)

- :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Phoenixus said...

Well Wyrin,
I have the same issue right now with Claw Hollow.

In order to work with it I actually have to export the area, save the mod, then import the area again and open another area first.

Then I can open it and work with it. And as you know... coincidently, Claw Hollow is covered in Trees.

I suspect there is some kind of issue with Trees. I can get around it, but it's a pain to do just to work with an area and I have no intention to rebuild and re-texture the entire 16x16 area because as you know my texturing can get incredibly detailed. And there's so many trees in it, it's anyone's guess as to which one it is.

Wyrin said...

jazhara - you've earnt your easter egg - I'll put it in over the weekend, with all your bug fixes! Taron is in the prison/jail on the main level of the militia base - slightly south ast of center and belwo the wine cellar!

Amraphael said...

I've done some testing on my own. I have filled areas of different sizes with trees to make the whole thing crash and heres my conclusion:

Using FraserFirC seem to give the most problems. 3 seeds, 30 trees each in a 4x4, 8x8 or 12x8 area with no complex terrain re-produce this problem. Other trees with complex shadows also make the game crash and in some cases even the toolset. Removing the shadows sometimes fix the game problem but not the toolset problem. This a problem and v1.10, 1.11 and 1.12, haven't tried any older versions.

Wyrin said...

thanks buddy for looking into this! A real P.I.T.A. It's top of my list to redo that area tomorrow. I've already removed some shadows on trees in an earlier version in case that was the problem. mind you it's such a dark area, I can probably scrap them altogether.

Really appreciate your help here - i'll have to pay you back sometime! Apart from bug fixing, i'm not building for a bit so let me know!

E.C.Patterson said...

Nice job Amraphael! I'll keep your findings in mind. You should definitely report them to OEI.